Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise line in the world, so when they decide to make price changes then it can have a huge impact on experienced cruisers and newbies.
Since September 2018, Carnival has made five price changes which includes higher rates for room service, gratuities, steakhouse dining, the social media package, and the Bottomless Bubbles package.
The cruise line increased gratuities in December 2018 which came as no surprise. It has been a trend to increase the rate over the years and once one cruise line implements an increase it usually isn’t long until they all do, so other cruise lines may soon announce their own gratuity increases.
Beginning December 1, the gratuity rate for regular staterooms increased from $12.95 to $13.99 per person. For suite guests, the rate went from $13.95 to $15.99 per person. These gratuities are per guest, per day and are automatically charged to passengers’ onboard Sail & Sign accounts.
Carnival Cruise Line states that the gratuities are split between the crew members in specific departments. It has long been questioned how much of this amount the crew members actually get within their salary.
Many guests actually leave cash tips for their stateroom steward or dining room waiter at the end of the cruise. Other guests head to the services desk on the last sea to alter or completely remove the gratuities all together. Doing this is not recommended but is still at the guests’ discretion. If guests feel something about the service has been so poor that gratuities should be reduced or removed, it is recommended that they try to resolve the issue first so they can enjoy their cruise fully.
We’ll just have to see if Carnival increases the gratuity rate once again but it is highly unlikely this would happen in 2019.
Bottomless Bubbles Package
Another price increase Carnival made was to the Bottomless Bubbles package. Carnival offers an unlimited package for soda and juice and as of January 1, 2019, the rate increased by $1. It might not sound like much, but $1 per day can add up especially for multiple passengers and with any other expenses during the cruise.
The new rate of the package for kids is $5.95 per day and $8.50 per day for adults, plus gratuity. For those who pre-purchased Bottomless Bubbles before January 1, the old rate is being honored no matter when the cruise is scheduled.
Room Service Menu
Carnival Cruise Line announced that from mid-January there would be no more complimentary room service across the entire fleet. This news has angered many loyal Carnival cruisers and what made it worse was that it was announced on January 1, 2019, happy new year everyone!
Also Read: Free Carnival Cruise Dining Options
Since Carnival Cruise Ambassador John Heald revealed the change on his Facebook page, there has been a huge backlash about all room service items being charged. The only option on the new menu that will remain free is the continental breakfast. It must be noted that there is no room service breakfast available at all on the last morning of the cruise, but guests can enjoy breakfast on the Lido deck or in the main dining rooms before debarking.
The new a la carte room service menu will continue to feature a wide range of choices with prices from $2-5 per item. The prices will apply to lunch, dinner, and late-night items.
Carnival has stated that the introduction of an almost fully fee-based room service menu will help reduce food waste across all ships. Guests are still expected to pay a tip to the crew member who delivers the order.
We’ve already posted fully regarding the room service change which you can read here. We’ve also featured the new menu.
The hike came active from September 20, 2018, and applies to all the Carnival cruise ships the venue is featured on. For a long time, the price to eat at the steak was $35 per person but the cruise line increased to $38.
The reason for the price change for the specialty restaurant was due to increased food prices. Carnival also made some minor tweaks to the menu while they were at it. They may have just been let off with this hike after bringing back the popular cheesecake option on the menu.
Social Media Package Goes Up
Carnival Cruise line has had a dedicated social media package for a while now. This offers a way for guests to keep connected to popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram while onboard.
The Social Wi-Fi plan does not allow access to most regular websites or email but does allow access to most essential airline sites. Passengers who will require access to airline sites while on their cruise should double-check which sites are included with the package, or they may need to purchase additional internet time onboard.
Unfortunately, the price was increased in November from $5 to $8 per day if the social media package is purchased onboard. The rate also went up from $4 to $6.80 per day if pre-purchased. For the pre-purchase savings, guests must purchase the package before embarkation day.
The rate increase was due to the higher bandwidth required from social apps and the package is still a good deal compared to other cruise lines.
Hopefully No More Increases!
Not just Carnival but other major cruise lines also have increased package rates and gratuities over the years, and additional increases are surely on the way. We wonder how these recent price increases will impact everyone’s view on Carnival and how it will impact the cruise experience.
If you would like to voice your concern feel free to post at our community page on Facebook right here.